It's been more than 70 years since the death of Glenn Miller. But his music, popularized during World War II, lives on in modern times. The Glenn Miller Orchestra performs Friday morning and Saturday evening with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra at Kleinhan's Music Hall. WBFO's Eileen Buckley spoke to the music director and vocalist Nick Hilscher.
WBFO'S Eileen Buckley speaks with Nick Hilscher, Music Director & Vocalist with the Glenn Miller Orchestra.
This week Anthony interviewed Steven McKinley Henderson in an "Inside the Actor's Studio" format and enjoyed Henderson's memories about Broadway, Hollywood, The Regional Theater Movement, The Black Arts Movement, and August Wilson.
If you are a Downton Abbey fan you might want to check out a comedy theater production in Buffalo. America's Got Downton plays Friday and Saturday evenings, April 10th & 11th, at 7:30 at 710-Main Theatre downtown. WBFO'S Eileen Buckley sat down with London actor and impressionist Luke Kempner who performs a one-man show featuring his comedic take on more 30 Downton characters.
WBFO'S Eileen Buckley sat down with London actor and impressionist Luke Kempner who performs a one-man show featuring his comedic take on more 30-Downton characters.
Two actors with Buffalo roots who "made it big" will share with acting students next week. Roslyn Ruff, Broadway star active on TV and in film (The Help) comes back to Buff State on Monday, April 13 at 4 p.m. to conduct a workshop in The Flexible Theatre for young actors in any medium. Roslyn will then engage in a discussion with the general public at 5:30 p.m.
At the end of this year The Lennon Sisters will mark their 60th year in the entertainment business. They will be performing Friday, April 10 at the Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda. They first made their debut on the Lawrence Welk Show in December of 1955. WBFO's Eileen Buckley had a chance to speak with Kathy Lennon about their legacy and success.
This week Anthony returns from the American Theater Critics Association Annual Conference, which this year was in New Orleans, to report that regional and community theater artistic directors all have the same concerns, whether the city is a tourist mecca or "just Buffalo." One concern that everyone has is getting works by a variety of playwrights actually produced.
A play written by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Lanford Wilson continues on stage at the New Phoenix Theater in Buffalo. As WBFO's Eileen Buckley reports, it features a local television meteorologist who portrays a priest in 'Angels Fall.'
Dancers ranging in age of five to 65 will perform the classical ballet story of Cinderella Saturday evening. The Greater Buffalo Youth Ballet performs at UB's Center for the Arts. WBFO'S Eileen Buckley says the classic tale features over 60-dancers.
As the nomination period for the Tony Awards draws close, Anthony ventures to Broadway to take in the musical "On the 20th Century" with Kristen Chenoweth and Peter Gallagher, "The Audience" with Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II, and "Disgraced" presenting the real lives of Disney princesses - and it's NOT for children (just those who once were). Meanwhile, both stages at the Alleyway Theatre Complex are busy.
Our western tradition of theater began with the Greeks, and for them, theater was community theater. When Sophocles, Euripides, or Aeschylus saw their plays, it was a community effort. To this day, Greek philosophy, politics, religion, ethics, medicine, and, of course, community theater, are an integral part of who we are. This week Theater Talk notes several community offerings including "The Boys Next Door" presented by both the Lancaster Regional Players at the Lancaster Opera House and The Western Door Playhouse at the Woodbox Theatre in Niagara Falls, "The Odd Couple" presented by
Two Buffalo, Peter Fowler & Bruce Bitmead created new paintings and sculptures and their work is inspired by the greatest artists of all time. Borrowed History is on display at Dolce Valvo Art Center on the Niagara College Community Campus in Sanborn.
Two Buffalo artists have created new paintings and sculptures and their work is inspired by some of the greatest artists of all time. WBFO's Focus on Education reporter Eileen Buckley says the artwork is on display at the Dolce Valvo Art Center on the Niagara College Community Campus in Sanborn and will share some artist advice with students.
Pre-dating the TV show "Seinfeld" ("the show about nothing") by 100 years, Oscar Wilde's most popular (and unfortunately last) play "The Importance of Being Earnest" moved one contemporary critic to write that he had enjoyed the play but found it empty of meaning. Nobody cares when you have delightful verbal fencing written by a master with lines such as: “To be natural is such a very difficult pose to keep up,” “All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does, and that is his” and "I hate people who are not serious about meals.
Two Buffalo artists set out on a photography journey in a remote village in Honoduras. They work is now on display at CEPA Gallery in downtown Buffalo. WBFO'S Eileen Buckley met with the artists to learn about their photos that portray Honduras children from impoverished lives.
WBFO'S Eileen Buckley talks with Buffalo artists Alexis Oltmer & William Bergmann about their photo exhibit at the CEPA Gallery.
The play has been blocked, lit, rehearsed and now all we need is an audience this coming Thursday, March 12th for the opening of Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" at Buff State where Theater Talk co-host reverses roles in more ways than one. Now Anthony Chase will be on stage, not in the audience, playing "Lady Bracknell" in high heels, wig, and very stylish clothes. "Arrivals and Departures" by Alan Ayckbourn opened at the Kavinoky, and the other two openings were Nobel prize winning playwright Eugene O'Neill's "The Hairy Ape" at Torn Space and Steve Martin's "Picasso at the Lapin Agile" at ART In The Box on Linwood Avenue.
One of the region's oldest cultural organizations is celebrating its Centennial Year. The Buffalo Silver Band has been entertaining local audiences for 100-years. WBFO'S Eileen Buckley talked with some members of the brass band about their legacy.
If you're looking to shake off the winter blues with some laughter Mommy's Martini Hour 2: The Hangover hits the stage Friday evening as Buffalo United Artists presents the show at the Alleyway on Main Street. WBFO'S Eileen Buckley talked with Loriane O'Donnell and KerryKate Abel -- who considered themselves Buffalo's theater divas. O'Donnell and Abel are offering the cabaret-style, adult only show this weekend.
Two plays discussed in this week's Theater Talk re-imagine two classics. "After Miss Julie" takes Swedish playwright August Strindberg's very dark "Miss Julie" and moves it to Britain in 1945 after a Labor Party Victory. In both plays Julie has a one night affair with a man from a lower class and ultimately sees suicide as the only way to move forward. That opened last night at the Irish Classical Theatre and runs through March 22.
By coincidence, a number of theaters this weekend feature mothers and mother figures (all with varying levels of dysfunction). Having Tyne Daly pass up the chance to spend a winter in Buffalo (go figure!) that opened the door for local talent Anne Hartley Pfohl to star in Terrence McNally's "Mothers and Sons" at the Alleyway Theatre. (The address is One Curtain Up Alley in the shadow of Shea's huge backstage.)
The Tony award winning Broadway hit Chicago opened on stage this week at Shea's Performing Arts Center. It stars an actor who is best known for his role in Seinfeld. John O'Hurley performs as lawyer Billy Flynn. WBFO'S Eileen Buckley talked with O'Hurley about his Chicago performances and his famous Seinfeld character.
Just back from the Kennedy Center in our nation's capitol, Anthony reports that while the cast of Lerner & Lowe's "Gigi" is first rate, the direction is not. They've got a month to fix things before opening on Broadway.
Openings this week include "The Mystery of the Silver Chalice" - a play at 710 Main where the audience directs the plot - "Beau Jest" at Jewish Repertory in which a Jewish girl hires an actor to play her boyfriend when she goes home to see the parents and "Million Dollar Quartet" which looks at the birth of rock'n'roll. It's at Shea's but for two days only.
Legendary and multi-talented entertainer Ben Vereen appears Saturday evening with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra for the Pop Series. Vereen, well known for his Broadway work, brings his star power to Kleinhan's Music Hall. WBFO's Eileen Buckley had a chance to speak with Vereen ahead of Saturday's performance.
At the age of 80, Australian comedian Barry Humphries is retiring his character "Dame Edna Everage" after a 2015 farewell tour. Anthony flew out to Los Angeles to catch a show last week, but Buffalo/Toronto audiences can wait until early April when the tour comes to the Royal Alexandra in Toronto.
Having just seen A.R. Gurney's "Family Furniture" at the Kavinoky Theatre, Anthony Chase noticed strong parallels with Edward Albee's "A Delicate Balance" back on Broadway, especially upper class families who can talk a lot, but not about their problems.
Of last week's two openings, A.R. Gurney's "Family Furniture" at the Kavinoky (D'Youville campus) is "soulful" while Alan Ayckbourn's tightly plotted "Snake in the Grass," a Red Thread Theatre production at the Marie Maday Theatre (Canisius College), is the "thriller."
In common with the great Anton Chekhov, playwrights Alan Ayckbourn and Buffalo's A.R. Gurney both make effective use of small sets which serve multiple purposes as well as indirect action - the off stage drama churning beneath the service. In Ayckbourn's "Snake in the Grass" two sisters reunite after the death of their abusive father. In Gurney's "Family Furniture" a mother might have engaged in an infidelity, but nobody is talking, at least not directly, in the drama set in Buffalo in the 1950s.
It's a rare theater company that has something on the boards over Christmas, but that's when the movies bring out some blockbusters, including an adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods." Major stars fill the silver screen, including Meryl Streep as "The Witch" and Buffalo's own Christine Baranski as "The Stepmother." Anthony reports that there are some differences between stage and screen versions, partly because gruesome elements can be comedic on stage while movies, which are only two dimensional, somehow seem "more real." On the other hand, effects such as levitation and magic
Two versions of “A Christmas Carol,” one with Mike Randall at the Sheridan-Parkside Community Center Theatre and one (32 years running!) at the Alleyway, continue as does “Miracle on South Division Street” by “Over the Tavern” playwright Tom Dudzick at the Roycroft Pavilion in East Aurora and “Jerry’s Girls” presented by O’Connell and Company at the Park School in Snyder.
With all of the theaters in the Buffalo area, is there competition for the same audience? Not so, Anthony Chase tells Peter Hall. Each local theater has a niche market which it serves. For example, the audiences for "A Christmas Carol" currently at the Alleyway Theatre (and it its 32nd production) will be looking for nostalgia and something for their kids. Subversive Theatre's "The Guns of Christmas" at the Many Fried Playhouse is both a political statement and a moving portrayal of the horrors of war. And the BUA's "Santa Claus is Coming Out" at The Mainstreet Cabaret or "The Santaland Diaries" at the Road Less Traveled Theatre will appeal to yet a third kind of audience looking for something different.
"Cinderella" has dropped a lot of the 1950s schmaltz and with a new script by Douglas Carter Beane (and a great pair of shoes) this Rodgers & Hammerstein musical brings a lot of sassy adult humor to Shea's Performing Arts Center, but only through this Sunday, December 7th. Down the block, BUA presents "Santa Claus is Coming Out," a story where Santa decides that, despite expectations, it's always better to do the right thing. And across Main Street, for a little more edgy seasonal humor, Mark Sacco brings David Sedaris' "The Santaland Diaries" to the stage at Road Less Traveled (sti